Tag Archives: Citizen Media Law Project

Citizen Media Law Project: The laws of news aggregation

The Nieman Journalism Lab has posted an interesting report on the legality of different forms of news aggregation based on a white paper created by Kimberley Isbell of the Citizen Media Law Project.

While the paper is based on US copyright law, it is likely to be a useful point of reference for anyone dealing in online content.

In the paper Isbell offers context by discussing recent cases and the impact on the legal environment, including the licensing agreement between Google News and Associated Press announced at the end of last month. In a wider context, she adds, news aggregators can often argue a fair use policy.

(…) news aggregators could argue that the type of consumer that would only skim the headlines and ledes on the news aggregators’ website is not the type of consumer that is likely to visit individual news websites and read full articles, and thus would be unlikely to be a source of traffic for the newspapers’ websites if the news aggregators did not exist.

Her work concludes with some useful bullet points of best practice, reproduced in summary below:

  • reproduce only necessary portions of the story, not in its entirety;
  • try not to focus on a single source;
  • prominently identify the source;
  • link to the original source of the article;
  • provide context or commentary where possible.

Citizen Media Law Project: A new bill to aid protection for bloggers

The Citizen Media Law Project takes a good look at a new bill to extend protections of New York’s ‘robust media shield law’ to bloggers.

“As anyone who’s been faithfully reading the CMLP blog knows, the law hasn’t been particularly good at dealing with the intersection of media shield laws and bloggers,” Arthur Bright comments.

“That makes the efforts of a couple New York legislators to proactively address the problem a most welcome change,” he says.

Full post at this link…

BeatBlogging.Org: Editors are not liable for changing comments

Video of the Citizen Media Project’s David Ardia explaining why – under US law – editors are not legally liable for changing comments left on their news sites.

As Pat Thornton points out:

“This falsehood must stop now. It’s been used — knowingly and unknowingly — by news organizations for years as  justification not to allow user comments.”

Full story at this link…

NiemanLab.org: ‘Why news orgs can police comments and not get sued’

NiemanLab.org publishes a video of David Ardia, director of the Citizen Media Law Project at Harvard, at a conference of New England newspaper editors and also provides a full transcript. He explains Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA 230) and ‘how it provides wide-ranging immunity to web-site publishers for what goes on in their comments,’ the NiemanLab reports.

Full story…